Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today hailed the signing of Veterans' Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act as an important step forward for improving the veterans' health care system. The new law requires Congress to allow advance funding for the Veterans Affairs Department's medical programs one year in advance of the start of each fiscal year, starting in Fiscal Year 2011.

"Congress frequently fails to pass VA funding in a timely manner, creating uncertainty and potential instability in the VA health care system," said Thune. "This bill which I have supported puts veterans' health care funding out of the reach of political games and ensures that programs will be funded without delay. Our veterans have earned this certainty with their service to our nation."

In 19 of the past 22 years, Congress has failed to authorize VA funding before the start of the fiscal year, including this year. Despite the start of the 2010 fiscal year two weeks ago, Congress has not yet acted on VA funding.

Senator Thune credits the work of veterans' groups such as the South Dakota chapters of the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars for the broad support that the Veterans' Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act received in Congress. Senator Thune was proud to represent South Dakota's veterans at the White House ceremony where President Obama signed the bill today.

Senator Thune is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.